United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania Seeks Volunteer Tax Preparers

Posted by on December 10, 2004

[Ed note: PHENND is also looking for volunteers for a similar effort in Delaware and Montgomery Counties. If you are interested in volunteering in these counties, contact Sharon Fluellen-Flynn at 215-573-2379 or sharonf@critpath.org.]

United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania seeks Volunteer Tax Preparers

Consider this: one person volunteering once a week during the 13-week tax season of January – April 2005 returns over $30,000 to local low-income families. Last year, United Way volunteers helped families receive $15.1 million in Earned Income Tax Credits.

Help working families make the most of their earning power. Join over 400 other volunteers helping eligible, low-income families find their way through the tax-filing maze.

To volunteer, email TaxVolunteer@uwsepa.org, call 215-665-2544, or register online at http://www.uwsepa.org/about_us/eitc.html.

Campaign for Working Families Facts
– The Mission of the Campaign for Working Families
* Help low-wage working families move up the economic ladder by . . .
* Connecting Philadelphia area residents to EITC and other tax credits, public benefits and asset-building resources.
– What is EITC?
* A federal tax benefit for those who earn less than $35,000 a year.
* Can be up to $4,200 per year, based on family size and income. Average for Philadelphia last year was $1,452 per year.
* Non-tax filers can claim and get the EITC for up to 3 years. A lot of money!
* Reduces the tax burden on low-wage workers, supplements their wages, and helps families pay bills or save for the future.
* America’s largest and most effective anti-poverty program.
* Provides about the same level of federal assistance to low-income families nationwide as the TANF and food stamp programs combined (year 2000).
– EITC in Philadelphia
* About 50,000 eligible households did not file EITC claims, leaving at least $85 million in unclaimed credits (in 2001).
* More than 41% of EITC filers used commercial tax preparers to obtain “refund anticipation loans” (RALs). These loans charge taxpayers on average 67-770% interest to provide cash only a few days before refunds would have arrived.
– Last Years Campaign
* 10,409 returns filed
* $15.1 million in refunds and credits went directly to Philadelphia families, including EITC, child tax, and dependent care credit.
* 3,643 EITC’s filed (31% of total taxes filed)
– Future Campaign Goals
* Establish an on-going, efficient year-round campaign that provides tax assistance, counseling and education to help low wage working families build assets.
* Expand the Campaign for Working Families to the four surrounding counties in 2005, and to the entire Commonwealth of Pennsylvania in 2006.
* Increase the percent of regional families filing for the Earned Income Tax Credit by 5% a year.

More in "Partnerships Classifieds"

Stay Current in Philly's Higher Education and Nonprofit Sector

We compile a weekly email with local events, resources, national conferences, calls for proposals, grant, volunteer and job opportunities in the higher education and nonprofit sectors.